Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever you celebrate.  My wish for you this year is health, happiness and love wherever you might be celebrating.  I was able to celebrate with my parents and we'll be able to celebrate next week with my brother and his family who will be visiting us here in Phoenix.  I'm grateful to be able to have two weeks to spend relaxing and recharging for the rest of the year. 

Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

New Year's Resolutions!

It's hard to believe that 2013 is coming to a close.  It's been a busy, but uneventful year for me.   It's time to reflect and make goals for the coming year.  One of my major resolutions was getting healthier-working out more and eating better.  I haven't been too great at that.  Unfortunately,  it's really hard to get in shape when I'm busy with work and stressed out.  I do great on vacations and free time, but not so great during the nitty gritty stressful days of school.  That's one thing I really want to work on this coming year.  Keep a consistent schedule of exercise, stock my pantry with healthier foods and take better care of myself.  So I'm linking up with A Peach for the Teach for her resolution linky party.

Personal-I really want to achieve more balance in my life and spend more time with friends and family doing fun stuff-dancing, hiking and yoga, dinners and cultural activities.

Professional-I also have a constant quest to become more organized, and work on strategies for working smarter, not harder.

Classroom-I really want to explore more ways of incorporating technology in my classroom.  I want to look into some grants or donors choose.  It would be so great for my students.

Blog/TPT-I want and need to get back to blogging on a regular basis.  It's been a stressful year, and I've been sick off and on this fall and it's been hard to blog on a regular basis.  I also want to work on creating products, I just don't even now where to begin.

Just for fun-I want to get back into swing dancing, yoga and hiking.  I also want to spend more time enjoying music, art work and fun stuff with friends.

Here are my resolutions.

 What are your resolutions?  Come link up with A Peach for the Teach and tell us your resolutions!

A Peach for the Teach: Behavior Supports & Multi-Age

Monday, December 23, 2013

13 in 13 linky party

It's hard to believe that 2013 is coming to a close.  I did this last year as a way to celebrate the end of 2012.  I found this fun end of the year linky party again that's been put on by  Kristin, Hadar and  Traci.

My new Old Navy boots!  Love them!  They're so comfy and cozy!

I loved Oblivion and Life of Pi this year.  Both were so good!

Person of Interest was must see tv for me this year.  So good! 
 I also discovered Parenthood and the Good Wife this year.
Same as last year.  La Grande Orange or The Parlor pizza.  Both places have great pizza, and other good food.
Going to the Brush Bar with friends this year.  I went with friends, drank wine and they talked us through painting a picture and they talked us through painting a new picture.  So much fun!!
Having my place cleaned!  So nice!  I love having someone come in and clean my place without having to do the work.

I love doing the Currently posts and learning more about other people.  The other one was the Behavior Plans posts.  I had so many different ideas from different people on the behavior plans they use in their classroom.
I stuck with blogging.  I've made it more than a year and I've continued to learn and grow.

 Our cottage out in Minnesota and my happy place.  This was built by my great great grandfather.
So many good ones.  There isn't one big one that sticks out in my memory.  There are several little ones; Sunday morning yoga and then meeting my Dad for yoga, swing dancing with friends, road trips to San Clemente and time spent in Minnesota with family and friends.
  My goal for 2014 is to take better care of myself health  wise-working out on a regular basis, eating healthier foods, getting to bed earlier and trying to reduce stress in my life.
Balance is the best word for me this year.  Once school begins taking care of myself disappears.  I need to maintain balance this year between work, family, fun and taking care of myself.

Now it's your turn to tell me about your top 13 of 2013.   

How to link up:
Create a blog post sharing your favorite 13 things in 2013. Add the button to your post and link it to this blog post. Then link up below, making sure to link directly to your post, not just your blog.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas memories!

Christmas vacation is finally here!  So excited for all the festivities and just relaxing and spending time with family.  This has been an especially stressful year so I'm really happy to have some to relax and recharge.  My brother and his family is coming and spending time with us in Phoenix.  So excited!!  They moved away almost 7 years ago, so it'll be great to have them back here in town.

Hot Chocolate or Eggnog? 
I love them both, but prefer egg nog during the holidays.  So yummy, creamy and we can only enjoy it once a year.
Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them underneath the tree? 
Santa wraps up presents from them.  Of course now with no kids and I've grown older, no more presents from Santa.
Colored lights or white? 
I love white lights.  So much more elegant.

When do you decorate? 
When my Christmas vacation begins.  It's hard to think about Christmas until I'm actually on vacation.

Real or Fake Tree? 
I love real trees, but I don't have the time for them now.

What Tops Your Tree?
A star

Favorite Christmas Memories or Traditions?
Spending Christmas with my parents in Carmel.  They rented there for five years.  I loved celebrating Christmas in California by the ocean.

Do you remember your favorite gift as a child?
Not really, so many good gifts over the years.  My parents had a friend that worked at Mattel and gave us so many great gifts over the years.

Do prefer giving or receiving? 
Giving!   I especially love giving to my nieces and nephew.  So fun!  I need to start doing random acts of kindness!

What is your favorite Christmas song? 
Christmas Canon from Transiberian Orchestra.

Candy Canes. Yuck or Yum? 
I love the taste of them, but they're kind of hard to eat.

Favorite Christmas Movie? 
It's a Wonderful Life

Do you shop online or at stores?
Both!  I love Amazon Prime for my nieces and nephews back home.

Photo Cards, Letter or Store Bought Card? 
Letters and either store bought or photo cards,

Now it's your turn! Link up below at Fabulous in First.

Link up your little seasonal survey questions.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Currently enjoying my holiday vacation!

It's been so nice to have a long weekend (five days).  It allowed me the opportunity to relax, recharge and get back to feeling like myself again.  I've been trying to get back to my normal activities that have been neglected this last month or so.  Between being stressed out and feeling under the weather I've let a lot of things fall by the wayside-like swing dancing, yoga, spending time with friends and just enjoying life.  I need to work really hard at maintaining that balance between work and play once I get back to school and into the routine again.

Anyway, were moving into a new month and the end of 2013, and with the new month comes another Currently one of my favorite linky parties.  So I'm joining up with Farley and share what's going on.

Listening-I'm watching Damages on Netflix.  I saw the first four episodes this summer and loved it.  So happy to see Season 5 finally.  It was long awaited!

Loving-I'm loving this time of year.  I love the holiday music, time spent with family, my parents return to Phoenix, and lots of holiday foods and drinks-butternut squash soup, gingerbread lattes at Starbucks and of course the weather in Phoenix is so nice to so it's fine to be outdoors.  There's also a lot of time to enjoy it with Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation. 

Thinking-I've been thinking about my plans for the week (almost done) and revamping my behavior plan.  I've been using Class Dojo and sticker charts, but they don't seem to have much of an effect on my toughest students.  I'm looking into other options to add into my repertoire.

Wanting-I really want to get back into my regular routine of blogging on a more regular basis, and learning how to make products (I never seem to have the time or energy or ideas to start doing this) and gaining more followers.

Needing-This year has been pretty stressful, and between that and being under the weather for about a month, a lot of things have fallen by the wayside.   I haven't done a lot of my fun activities like swing dancing, yoga, hiking and spending time with friends.  I need to maintain that balance once school begins again and keep a better balance between work and play.

Favorite tradition-I can't think of any real traditions I have.  The main one is spending Christmas with my parents.  During that time we go to movies, drink egg nog and enjoy our time together.  I also enjoy the holiday treats at Starbucks-gingerbread lattes and cranberry bliss bars.  Yummy!

Anyway, please join up with this fun linky party and let us know what you're doing currently. 

I'd love to hear from you!  Happy holiday and I hope you enjoy this holiday season!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I love this time of year!  The weather is getting cooler, and everywhere you go things are more festive!!  Pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, butternut squash soup, chili, eggnog all those holiday foods.
Today I'm linking up with Lucky to be in First for a Thanksgiving linky. 

I'm thankful for friends and family, my health which allows me to stay active with swing dancing, yoga, hiking and running.

I'm thankful for a career I enjoy and that continues to challenge me and for students who make me excited about coming to work.  

I'm also thankful for the blogging community which given me opportunities to re-energize me and expand my knowledge about my career.  

I'm thankful for great friends and a boyfriend that love going out and enjoying life-hiking, yoga, dancing, festivals and exploring the city.

Last but not least I'm thankful for a five day weekend which will give me the opportunity rest, recharge and spend time with family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving and welcome to the holiday season!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gobble Days!

Sorry for laying low this last month, but I've been feeling under the weather most of the month.  I had a pretty bad cough that took forever to improve!  It took three sick days and a round of antiobotics to clear up.  It's so nice to feel normal again and get back into my normal routines of hanging out with friends, hiking, doing yoga and going swing dancing.

In addition this year, has been pretty stressful with lots of changes with the way we teach thanks to common core, and for me a lot of large personalities behavior wise.  I've had to really learn, change and grow in the ways I manage the behaviors in my classroom.  What has worked in the past, isn't working as well this year.  

So after a short work week I'm looking forward to some time to myself and a chance to relax, recharge and spend time with family and friends.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you are able to spend time with your loved ones during this holiday season.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November Currently

It's finally November!  These last three months have dragged on it seems.  I have a few students who are really keeping me on my toes this year, in addition to dealing with a chest cold that just wants to keep holding on.  Along with a new month comes a new Currently from Farley and here is mine.
Listening:  I'm listening to the news tonight and trying to rest up.

Loving: The cooler weather!  So happy it's finally cooling down this month.  It's the kind of weather people come to Arizona for!

Wanting: To get back to my normal activities-having fun with friends, swing dancing and exercising!!

Needing: To get over this infernal cold.  I've had this stupid cough that's been dragging on for two weeks.  It's seemed like I was getting a little better, but I feel like I had a set back these last few days.  It's been stressful at work with those students which hasn't helped my ability to get better.  I took two days off and went to the doctor, made some progress and I've just plateaued.  I'm so busy at work, so it's been really hard to take time off. ; (

So come link up with Farley and tell us what your doing Currently!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Behavior Management Ideas

It's hard to believe that it's almost November.  It's been an incredibly busy month with iep meetings, testing and a group that has been really keeping me on my toes.  This year I have one of the hardest groups I've ever had, and one of the nicest groups I've ever had.   Plus, I've been dealing with a chest cold that's been dragging on and on.  So it's been leaving me exhausted!! 

Typically I've only used one classroom management plan and that's worked out pretty well.  I've used and still use a sticker chart system where students work towards the treasure box, as well as Dojo points where students also work towards rewards and points.  That's always worked pretty well for me, and the students have always typically responded.  They are also able to earn tickets towards a big school wide drawing at the end of the week.

However, this year I've been finding that one is not enough.  I have a lot of students on behavior plans and using individual point sheets which is becoming really hard to manage since they come and go from my room to their classrooms, as well as other classrooms.  I would love, love, love to hear what others do for their behavior management within their classrooms, especially if they like me have students that go back and forth between classrooms.  It would be great to use something that would fit seamlessly into my daily routine and classroom.

It's almost Friday!  Yay!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A great resource for teaching multiplying with multiple digits!!

Hope everyone is having a great October.  I just finished my fall break and now it's time to get ready to return to work and get back into the routine.   I didn't go anywhere exciting, but it was nice to just hang out at home and relax.  I saw movies and met friends for lunch and coffee.  Today was my first day back at school.  It was hard getting used to having to wake up with an alarm clock again.

Anyway, I've been working on teaching my students to multiply double digit numbers.  They had such a hard time getting things mixed up, what steps to take when.  I was looking around through websites and videos and found this cute video called Turtlehead Multiplication.

My students love it and ask to watch it over and over again.  It takes students step by step what  to do and how to do it, in a cute, funny and engaging way.

Happy Monday!!  Hope you have a great week ahead of you!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's time for October Currently!

It's hard to believe that it's October already.  The school year is flying by and already the first quarter is over and we're gearing up for Fall Break.  I am SO ready for it!!  It's been a rough start to the school year.  I have a lot of characters this year in one of my grade levels.  Luckily it's balanced out by a really sweet, wonderful great grade level.  They're so fun and sweet and hard workers.  Plus, there are so many changes coming down the line for my students with common core.  Unfortunately, I haven't blogged as much as I like because I've been so busy and up with work, and I haven't spent much time taking care of myself or anything else.  Hopefully, things will turn around soon.  Anyway, without further ado here is this months Currently.

Listening-I discovered Parenthood on Netflix, and have been catching up on old episodes in hope to be current when the new season starts.

Loving-It's been a long, hot summer in Arizona and I'm SO happy it's finally cooling down here.  It's much needed and I'm looking forward to all the fun things I can do once the weather cools down.

Thinking-Fall break is only three days away, I'm so excited!!

Wanting-One of the things I like about this time of year are the seasonal foods and drinks-like pumpkin spice lattes.  Yummy!!

Needing-Some free time to catch up on my life.  Luckily fall break is right around the corner.  I'm really looking forward to relaxing and recharging.

Trick or Treat- My trick to getting along is agreeing with people and doing what you want to do anyway.

What are you doing Currently?  Come on over and tell us what your doing currently.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September Sunday Social

Happy Sunday Social day!

Once again I am linking up with Neely and Ashley for their Sunday Social.

This Weeks Questions:
1. What is the name if your blog?   Resource Room Rules

2. What do you love most about blogging?  I love writing, and connecting with other teacher bloggers who are passionate about their careers, as well as learning about other things such as photography, travel and cooking.

3. Why did you start blogging?  I started reading some teaching blogs and was looking for special education and resource teacher blogs in general.  After reading and following so many I decided that was something I wanted to do as well.

4. What is something you’d want to tell someone just starting out in the blog world? Keep at it and take your time.  Join in with linky parties to get exposure and find new blogs and hopefully have other blogs find you.

5. Biggest blogging learning experience you’ve had? There have been lots of different things.  Commenting on other people's blogs, as well as linky parties.  Another thing that I've learned about is participating in giveaways, as well as making and selling products.  That's another thing I'd like to learn more about.  My blog is coming up on one year and I need to figure out how to do a giveaway.

6. What are three blogs you love? 

The Lower Elementary Cottage 
The Resource(ful) Room
Heather's Heart
Next Weeks Questions:
1. What is your favorite handbag you’ve ever owned?
2. What is your dream handbag you lust over?
3. What are the daily essentials in your purse or work bag?
4. What’s in your purse (with pictures)?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Welcome to September-Goals

This month has flow by!  It's been such a busy month getting back into the routine of school, and adjusting to my new school year.   Along with a new school year, comes new goals for me.  I'm really looking forward to the cooler weather so that I can start enjoying all the fun activities that being outdoors brings.

Personal-I need to find a good balance this year.  I don't want to let teaching consume me, and I want to make time for exercise, as well as spending more time with friends, family and my boyfriend.

Health-I really want to get in shape this year.  I'm planning on joining a gym this year so that I can get into a good routine of working out at the gym, going to yoga regularly, and once it cools down running and hiking on a regular basis.

School-I would really like to continue incorporating more technology into my classroom.  I'd like to get some ipads, ipods and maybe a smartboard.  I'm also on a constant quest to become more organized and start incorporating some of those cute pinterest ideas into my classroom.

Blog/TPT-I'd love to increase my followers, and learn about making products so that I can start selling, and earning an extra income.  I also need to start learning about hosting some giveaways since it's almost my first blogaversary!  I started this little blog last year during my fall break (October).  I don't even know where to start since I haven't started making products yet.

What are your goals for the coming school year?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September Currently

Well it's hard to believe that it's a new month and time for another Currently.  It's been a pretty busy month trying to get back into the groove of teaching, and trying to keep some balance in my life. 

Anyway, it's time to link up with Farley for another Currently linky party.

Listening-I quit cable, bought a Roku and signed up for Netflix.  I most recently discovered Parenthood on Netflix and love it.  I can't wait for Season 4 to come out and Season 5 to start up again.  It would be nice to be caught up by the time the new season starts.  Only drawback is that with no cable, and using an antennae I'm not getting NBC.  

Loving- SO nice having a three day weekend and I'm totally looking forward to fall break in a month.  I love my job and my kids, but it's so nice having time off. ; )

Thinking-This is a constant quest for me.  I really need to work on getting more organized at home, and at school. 

Wanting-Some balance in my life.  This is my biggest challenge when I'm working-keeping some balance in my life.  I need to spend time taking care of myself, as well as carving out time for family and friends.

Needing-Some cooler weather here in Arizona.  SO ready for it to cool down here.  Arizona has great weather about 8-9 months out of the year, but the heat prevents me from enjoying some fun outdoors and I'm ready to get back and enjoy the great outdoors again so I can hike and take yoga classes outdoors.

Some love-I need to work on creating healthy and organic meals.  I've made some progress, but I really want to explore some good recipes this year which will help me incorporate more of a plant based diet in my life.

I also want to work out more regularly, and do more hiking once it starts getting cooler here in Arizona.

Last, but not least do a better job reconnecting with friends, and especially spend more time dancing (especially swing) since that's one of my favorite things to do.

Come out and join the fun and find out what everyone else is doing Currently!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

How do you teach multiplication facts?

Well I've been back at school for three weeks and finally feeling like I'm getting into the groove of being back in school.  It's been super busy (isn't it always).  The beginning of the school year is always a whirlwind of setting up classrooms, getting back into a routine of getting up earlier and going to bed earlier than summertime.  It's that  time of year, for a fresh start with new routines, new ways of teaching and for some teachers a new set of students.  Since I teach special education resource I have mostly the same students,  with a few new transfer in students.  That makes for a busy start of the school year, since I have to hit the ground running as far as setting up iep meetings and getting settled into new routines.  I have some sweet kids this year, but I also have some characters in my room this year.   I've been working with my students on beginning year assessments (both my own, and school wide), rules and routines.

Most of my students need to work on mastering their multiplication facts.  Mastering, and or memorizing is pretty difficult, so I work with them on at least knowing how to solve multiplication facts even though they don't have the answers memorized.   I use a mixture of ways to teach it multiplication.  I use touch math, which starts with repeated addition and skip counting which is the foundation of mastering the math facts.  

I also recently discovered Xtra Math which helps students practice and master math facts.  My students have really enjoyed being able to use it, and most of them look forward to it, and the opportunity to practice their math facts.  

Another strategy is using Super Speed Math from Whole Brain Teaching.  They pair up with each other and practice their math facts with a partner, and the other person has the answers and checks as they go along.  We also play math war, where they have to solve multiplication problems (using times tables), and whoever gets the highest answer gets all the cards.

What do you do to teach multiplication facts?  Any other great websites out there to help students practice their math facts?

Hope everyone has a great school year!!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Social

I hope everyone had a good weekend!  It's been really hot here in Phoenix, so I've been doing my best to stay cool.  Usually I don't mind the heat so much, as long as it doesn't get over 110.  Unfortunately, it's been over 110 this weekend, and hasn't been cooling down in the evenings, which helps.  I've been staying indoors, watching movies, and swimming to stay school. 
Today I'm linking up with Neely and Ashley for their weekly Sunday Social.

This Weeks Questions:
1. What is something you’ve always wanted to do but are afraid of?  Scuba Diving or Surfing.  I'd love to learn how to do both of them, and probably will eventually, I just need to work up the courage to do it.

2. Where do you see yourself in five years? Living here in Phoenix, traveling all over the US and Europe, being a published author and photographer and continuing to teach.

3. What are you looking forward to before the end of 2013?  I can't think of anything specific, just enjoying cooler weather and hopefully a road trip or two.

4. What are your hopes for your blog?  I'd like to continue to grow my blog, gain more followers, post regularly, build a community and more interactions on my blog, learn how to create and sell products and start earning money from my blog.

5. Do you always see yourself living in your current town/city?  I think so, I love Arizona, but sometimes think it would be cool to live along the coast either in CA, or Oregon, maybe even New York City or somewhere in Europe. 

6. What is your morning routine? I have breakfast, watch the morning shows (Good Morning America for me) and get ready to go to work.  I'd like to work in a work out in the morning, but always lose my motivation.

Next Weeks Questions:
1. What do you miss most about being a kid?
2. Dd you have a nickname growing up? What was it?
3. What was your favorite thing to do at recess?
4. What did you want to be when you grew up?
5. Did you participate in any school activities?
6. What is the funniest thing you did as a kid that your parents still remind you about?

Have a good weekend everyone!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Found some really great resources for behavior and tracking goals! Come check these out!!

So it was back to work for me, last week.  It's been pretty good, setting up my classwork, catching up with students and trying to get my schedule figured out!  Scheduling is always the biggest headache of teaching resource, trying to coordinate with the general education teachers and figuring out the best time to pull students so it doesn't conflict with specials, lunch, and the meat and potatoes of the lessons.   It's always changing as well, as teachers make changes, and I have students joining us throughout the school year if they've transferred in, or recently qualified for services.

Anyway, I don't know about your school, but ours uses a school wide behavior system called PBIS, which is short for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports.  A fellow teacher recommended a website called PBIS World which has a list of behaviors, click on the behavior, and it has a list of descriptions of the behaviors, click yes my student fits that description, or no they don't.  If you click yes they have a suggestions to help you with these students, as well as Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions.  They also have all sorts of resources for tracking behaviors, interventions, and tracking data.  It's similar to the PRIM manual which is the Pre Referral Intervention Manual, which is a great resource for special education teachers (especially resource teachers).

Free Printable Behavior Charts is another great resource, and website I found through this website.  They have a lot of different behavior charts that you can use in your classroom, or that parents can use at home.

I've already talked about Class Dojo which is also a great resource for reinforcing positive behavior in the classroom.  All of these resources are free!

Any other great resources out there for helping with and tracking behavior and/or goals?  I'd love to hear about them!!

Hope you enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back to school again!

Is it that time of the year already?  I had a long, relaxing summer.  I spent time working on my blog, and catching up with friends.  Then I went to our cottage in Minnesota this summer for a month of swimming,  relaxing and spending time with family,  and friends.  My nieces came out (twins) and spent some time out there before their parents came.  I loved spending so much time with them.  

Then one last weekend getaway in San Clemente, CA before going back to school.  It was so nice to get away from the heat again!!  I love Arizona, but this time of year is really hot!!  Here is a picture of the pier.

Last week I returned back to school.  In between meeting and catching up with friends, I worked on putting my room together.  I'm lucky to have a room to myself.

Here are some of the pictures from my room-

This is where my students store their materials (books, notebooks etc.), as well as filing cabinets.

This is my main teaching area.  This is where I do direct instruction and my groups meet.  You may be able to see my new document camera which also came with a new projector that was put in my room last year.

Here is my desk.  Behind me is where a lot of teaching materials are stored.  I also keep a lot of information that I need handy access there.
Now starts the process of getting organized, scheduling students (always a headache) assessing them, and planning.  It should be an interesting year.  This is the first year our school is getting an Autism program in our building.  I've worked with some students that are on the higher end of the autism program, but not with a wider variety of students.  I won't actually be working with them, I'll still be doing resource, but I'm looking forward to learning more about them.  

Anyway, today was the second day of school!  It went fairly smoothly, and I'm looking forward to a great year.

It's almost the weekend!!  Happy Wednesday!!

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